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Survivor Winner Vecepia Towery on if There’s Really Life After Colton

Vecepia Towery Robinson on what's in store for the Survivor One World cast without Colton

We ask Vecepia is there life after Colton? (photo courtesy of CBS)

Ten years ago, Vecepia Towery Robinson was the first African-American winner of Survivor. She won a game that took a real turn soon after the two tribes merged. Vecepia joins Rob Cesternino to discuss what might be in store for the Survivor: One World players after they’ve merged the tribes back together on this week’s show.

The most hated man on Survivor: One World, Colton Cumbie

Click the photo to hear our interview with Colton Cumbie

Rob and Nicole open the show talking about the reaction to the exit interview they conducted earlier today with Colton Cumbie. Rob discusses the criticism that he is receiving on not having been harder on Colton. Plus, he reveals why he thinks that Colton would likely not have won the game if not for being diagnosed with appendicitis… which was actually a bacterial infection.

Speaking with Vecepia, Rob compares Colton leaving the game at this point to when Boston Rob Mariano got voted out on Survivor Marquesas. Rob feels like the game is wide open at this point, just as it turned out to be for the players during Survivor Marquesas. Rob asks Vecepia what she thinks might be next for Jonas Otsuji who is no longer under the radar after the loss of Colton. Rob thinks he needs to pull Troyzan and Jay Byars back over to his site.

We discuss with Vecepia how Alicia Rosa has been treating Christina Cha. Rob thinks that Christina could be in a pretty good position going forward since she wont be targeted as a threat after the merge. Rob feels like Sabrina Thompson, Kim Spradlin and Chelsea Meissner are in control of the game and will dictate how the next few weeks will go.

Plenty of discussion from Survivor Marquesas including the historic Survivor move that took down the Rotu 4 and how Paschal picking the purple rock changed the game of Survivor forever. We also take a look at the evolution of religion and spirituality over the course of the history of Survivor.

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Rob Cesternino

Rob Cesternino is a two-time Survivor player and reality TV aficionado. Rob gives his thoughts on his favorite Reality TV shows as the host of "Rob Has a Podcast" More From Rob Cesternino »

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  • BobbyKe

    Haven’t listened to it all yet, but just feel like saying I disagree with Rob on wanting people to hate

    Why should I want to hate somebody? I want to be happy watching the show? Colton & Alicia make me mad. I don’t want them on my TV

    Plus, Kat is EASILY the most entertaining in my book & I DON’T hate her
    Jeff: Colton left with appendicitis / Kat: What’s That?
    Absolutely hilarious. She ALWAYS makes me laugh. So much fun. I don’t need somebody that makes me mad to be entertained. I’d be perfectly fine if the majority of Savaii was at the end. The people on that tribe are the ones I like the most

    • C’mon, Survivor strives on conflict. If everyone’s nice and happy, people complain because we have a dull season. We need villains. Just remember we’re not seeing complete people in “Reality TV” anymore, we’re watching characters who are controlled by production and editing. Just sit back and enjoy the ride.

      • manneaux

        I have loved every season of survivor, I dont find it dull at all, even when pagong got pagonged! 
        I just started watching Amazon for the first time and Im loving that too. I like to be happy watching tv, like Bobby said I just dont want Alicia on my tv. It almost annoys me that someone like that got to play the greatest social game ever created…

    • manneaux

      Hey Bobby I agree with you,

      But I think we differ from Rob in a big way. He loves reality tv shows like Big Brother and Apprentice. I cant stand these shows because they are all about being mean, hating the contestants and watching the contestants hate on each other. They just cast seriously ill or unstable people to have huge fights with each other etc…I think most people who watch reality tv do it because they like this type of behaviour. I only watch Survivor as far as reality tv goes. I used to watch Amazing Race too but I stopped years ago because it was all about couples treating each other extremely poorly. I just couldn’t watch these low life people treat each other so badly week after week…

      I think there are two reality tv camps and we are in the one that Rob is not in. I cant stand other  reality tv because of all the meanness. I love survivor because its all game theory for the most part. Lately its been more about bitchiness and I hope they don’t push it too far like AR because i wont be able to watch. But yes I am one of the people that likes to be happy watching the show. Kat is dumb and id like to see her voted off soon, she makes me laugh too, but I dont hate her and I dont want to hate her.

      Christina to win it all! She was awesome this episode. I bet Alicia felt like a real low life after watching herself back…

    • Yeah, I think there are some people who are entertaining villains you could love to hate, like Russell, JFP, Randy, Tyson, etc., but that line can be crossed, like with Colton. I don’t love to hate him. He just annoys me and makes me uncomfortable, and I’m glad he will be off my screen. Tarzan, Kat, and Leif have entertained me the most this season, and I don’t hate them. Russell entertained me, but it wasn’t the same type of resentment. I can be entertained by watching someone burning socks and lying, but I don’t enjoy racist remarks. I do think Rob is right about villains being entertaining, just not the kind of villain Colton is.

      • TonyDeCro

        Colton is not a villain.  He’s an a$$hole.

  • Ties with 4 players = firemaking
    Ties with more than 4 = Purple rock

    After a revote, of course. You gotta get it together, Rob. 

    Also, Vecepia is amazing. <3 I wish she got a less flat edit.

  • Rob, you forgot about Peih-Gee in addition to the other three you named.

    • This is an epidemic! 

    • Jordan_Kalish

      also stacey from fiji, nobody liked her either.

    • to be fair, this was all pre-Linsanity.

  • Jordan_Kalish

    If Zoe snuck up on me in the woods, I’d also be scared.

  • ???

    4 times? Yes, that is a Joke! Don’t worry, they will never bring you back to play Survivor again.

  • Tyler Kakuno

    Rob, if nicole were to be cast as a castaway on Survivor 25 how far do u think she would go?

    • I think it depends on the other players but as long as Nicole stays focused she can get as far in the game as she wants to.

      • So just as long as no one’s podcasting there for over two hours, Joel McHale isn’t there, or there isn’t a pizza place 30 miles away that she has a coupon for, she’ll be fine.

  • ParasocialDude

    Loving the faux 7-up spots. You are “keeping it REALly hilarious”

    • The appendicitis awareness one cracked me up so hard!

  • ParasocialDude

    I forgot how great V is! Really likable voice. What a treat to hear her squawk  about One World. Sweet booking #RHAP. Now all we need is some Pappy in a futurecast!

    And my all time favorite winner, Aras, is coming up?! That just made my day. pARASocial approved!

  • I think Survivor 19 : Samoa merged at 12 people ( but they started the season with 20 players) cause it was 8 – 4.

  • delicatecutter

    I’m still waiting for the day when God talks to me.

    • God doesn’t always intervene in the lives of mortals.

      But when he does, he intervenes upon reality television shows

  • Vecepia was awesome on this. “The originAL!”

  • Maybe its the same nephew who could have beaten James in a foot-race in H vs. V LOL

    • lol I thought of that, but I think it was niece that time. I remember because of James’s hilarious response of “nah, she couldn’t.”

  • It was Ryno and Mary from Micronesia, weren’t they engaged at one time?

    • Yeah, they were, but she looks kind of like Monica Padilla, so I can see Vecepia’s confusion.

    • Mary who?

  • Letmerant

    Monreoville, Alabama’s claim to fame is Harper Lee, Truman Capote and now, unfortunately, Colton Cumbie. I am originally from Monroeville and I keep up on news from there with friends and relatives who live in Monroe County. I talked to one of them 3 WEEKS AGO (after the 3rd ep) who informed me then that Colton would get sick and leave the game. I was also told at that time that he was offered $100,000 to return to Survivor for another run. After the last episode in which he did indeed get sick and leave the game, I called my friend again who confirmed that he IS RETURNING for another Survivor even though he broke his contract to keep it a secret. I can’t stand that racist bigot and I will not be tuning in until I know he has been evicted from the game. My questions for Jeff Probst and the producers are: did Kourtney get an offer of 100K to do another show…do all contestants who do Survivor get paid that amount?  

    • You gotta understand how they think. They presume that we’ve seen it all, we know how the game turns out with “regular” folks. It’s actually true. So they bring in the crazy factor. They found Colton, who is super polarizing and they cannot wait to “use” him again. Will we have the best seasons? Most likely not. Will it be good TV? Definitely. Everyone’s gonna talk about Colton, and that’s what the producers want, they wanna spice up the show. After 12 years on air, their casting strategy is completely different.

  • I think it was Steph that V was talking about being on the island by herself

    • I was thinking Candice, because she said Exile Island, and I think Sugar and Candice were the females most sent there. It could’ve been Taj though. I remember her being sent a few times. She might actually have the female record now that I think about it. Stephenie makes a lot of sense though, since she’s probably the most remarkable of the ones we named (although those girls are great too, but not as well known).

  • Due to the distance between last seeing V, I wasn’t expecting much from the interview but Vecepia was great in the podcast and it reminds of the time when I rooted for her to win. Bring her back again.

  • Its great hearing from all these survivor winners and we might get Boston Rob depending on that Jonas/Troyzan bet (I doubt it though).  I wanna hear from Sean so we get the dirt on Boston Rob.

    • I agree, now we HAVE to get Sean on the podcast! He’s gotta spill the beans!

  • TarafromLI

    Another great podcast.  Rob, when u speak w/Aras, will u ask him if he’s aware that his name was used on 30 Rock?

    • bryce rinkenberger

       Yeah, that whole Cirie marrying Aras thing was pretty hilarious.  I just wish they’d cast someone to play aras!  we never got to meet him.  Maybe he made his fortune selling ridiculous winter hats?

  • Jasssi

    Why do I get a Yul Kwon feeling from Jonas? Just because when he was talking in his confessionals yesterday, he was really calm and calculated.

  • if I was christina when tarzan calls me katrina and forgets my name i would be like yeah thats my name so he doesnt wrie my name when he goes to vote me out because colton isn’t there to remind him

    • IKR!  Why even bother correcting him when he’ll just forget it 2 seconds later anyway~

  • Cesar Guzman Jr.

    I literally got a smile on my face when you said that Aras was going to be a guest on Rob Has A Podcast. He was my pick to win his season from Day 1 and his rivalry with Terry was one of my favorite moments from Survivor. Can’t wait!

    Also, since a possible All-Stars season was a topic on this podcast, I’ll say that I think it would be a good idea to do more of an “Unfinished Business” type of All-Stars. This would include people who had potential to do well in the game, but for whatever reason met an early demise. Some possible contestants I have in mind are Christine (South Pacific), Marty (Nicaragua), Russell Swan (Samoa), and Stephanie (Redemption Is). Unfortunately, that would have to include Colton.

    • damnbueno

      That would merely be repeating the “Redemption Island” theme, but using players who weren’t as good as (or as popular as) Stephenie, Bobby Jon, Boston Rob, Russell, Ozzy or Coach.

      Its already been done.

    • wolfstephen

      It’s a good idea, but I think the whole ‘we need to bring back people for particular themes/rivarlies’ has run its course. If they were to do another all-stars soon, they should just still to something simple and bring back people who played strong games and people who had strong characters…

  • somoa was the first season to merge at 12. then hvv merged at ten..then nicaragua redemtion island and south pacific all merged at 12

  • Seriously, this season of podcasts has been amazing, this one is no exception. Vecepia was a fantastic guest!!

  • She not only the first African American but also the only one to win Survivor:)

    • damnbueno

      Have you ever heard of Earl Cole — the first unanimous Survivor winner?

      He probably played the most flawless game of Survivor ever.

      • Except he likely would’ve lost if it were a final two, like he was playing for.

        • damnbueno

          Earl wasn’t in control of how many people were in the finals. Yes he was partners with Yau-Man, but I don’t think he had any unbreakable plans to go to the final 2 with him.

          To his credit, he always made the right move when he had to — including voting out Yau-Man.  He was even able to get Yau-Man’s vote by coming up with the perfect explanation — “I voted you out because I couldn’t beat you.”

          Besides, I think Earl had a pretty damn good shot at beating Yau-Man anyway.  He was well respected, trusted and likeable to the entire Jury.  Earl (not Yau-Man) formed the dominant alliance, and rebuilt it when Michelle was voted out.  Earl recruited the defectors, not Yau-Man.  Everyone came to Earl, not Yau-Man with new information.  When Boo got an Idol clue, he told Earl, not Yau-Man.  When Cassandra decided Boo and Stacy were dependable and wouldn’t betray them, she told Earl, not Yau-Man.  When Stacy thought there was no way Edgardo would have an Idol, she told Earl, not Yau-Man.  In the Jury’s eyes, Earl was the leader of that alliance.

          If there’s a final 2 with Earl & Yau-Man, I think Earl wins with votes from Dreamz, Cassandra, Stacy, Boo and Edgardo.  If Mookie and/or Alex are still inexplicably mad at Yau-Man, they vote for Earl too.  Rocky was impressed by Yau-Man’s challenge performance.  He votes for Yau-Man.  Lisi’s vote is unpredictable.  That chick was just plain looney.

    • wolfstephen

      yeah you may need to get your facts straight before you make such a bold post :)

  • Ari

    When the question was asked about why people are scared of taking out the people in charge in recent seasons, I disagree with your answer Rob. I think it’s because of the final 3 instead of the final 2. No one feels the pressure to change alliances because there is so many spots in the final. And the leader is just the goat…

  • What a great guest! I’m really pulling for a “battle of the champions”.

  • We see an edited and out-of-context version of Colton; nobody on the island seems to be mad at him; not even Bill.  So I don’t see why he couldn’t have gone to the end and win.  (AND I liked the Colton interview, but then again I’m a Colton fan)

  • La CucaraCha  Excellent! #RobHasAPodcast

  • PorkStoreKiller

    Pretty self aware of Vee to credit “luck” with a big reason she won.  Fortune was never more in her favor than when Tammy/John/Zoe/General started celebrating their victory a few days too early.  If they had been a little more diplomatic with Paschal and Neleh until the next vote, one of those four would have won the game.  Like Chris and both incarnations of Sandra, Vee suddenly found herself in the final act of Survivor primarily because of the choices of others.  She did well at the end of the game, but really had no business being there.    

    • damnbueno

      Not true.  Vecepia warned Kathy, Neleh and Paschal that they were on the bottom of their alliance right after Boston Rob was voted out.  Kathy suspected she was right, but Neleh and Paschal didn’t.

      Then at the next “cut 3 ropes” reward challenge, John, Tammy, Zoe and General took out Neleh, Paschal and Kathy after booting Vecepia and Sean.  THAT’s what cemented the trio’s defection.

      If Vecepia hadn’t planted the seeds of doubt into theit heads, they might not have been aware enough to know what was really happening at that reward challenge.

      Vecepia is very humble, and doesn’t take credit for creating the pivotal move in the game, but the simple fact is that Neleh and Paschal never would have considered defecting if Vecepia didn’t start them thinking about it.

      Vecepia’s win had a lot less to do with luck than Natalie, Amber, Jenna or Fabio’s wins.

      • PorkStoreKiller

        You are not crediting her with anything new.  Like I said, if John/Zoe/Tammy/General had been humble for a few days (esp. during that rope cutting challenge), the door for Vee would have never been opened and one of those four would have won the game.  Like Chris, she did a good job once a path opened up for her to make it to the end, but it was foolishness by others that created that path.   

        • damnbueno

          It wasn’t luck that the door opened for her.  She made the door open by convincing Kathy of her status in the game a few days before that challenge.

          Kathy pretty much quoted Vecepia word for word when she convinced Neleh and Paschal that they were destined to finish 5th 6th or 7th if they stuck with John.

          If Vecepia doesn’t convince Kathy, then it’s not as likely that Kathy, Neleh and Paschal would have realized their status so clearly in that challenge.  It wasn’t John, Zoe, Tammy and General’s gloating that changed their minds, it was the combination of receiving Vecipia’s prediction first, then seeing it come true in that challenge.  The foursome pretty much spelled it out for Kathy, Neleh and Paschal.  They sat on the bench right next to Sean and Vecepia and knew what was up.  This happened before the foursome started gloating.

          Neleh and Paschall were blindly loyal, and had to be hit over the heads with the info first. Vecepia gave Kathy the hammer, then Kathy hit them over the heads with it.

    • ogonzaleznyc

      Luck is usually, if not always, a huge part of Survivor.  But, to use two famous quotations, “Luck is the residue of design,” and “Luck is where opportunity meets preparation.”  For example:

      It’s been a while since I’ve seen S4, so correct me if I’m mistaken, but it’s my recollection that before the reshuffle, every time Vecepia wrote somebody’s name down, that person got voted off.  That is not luck.  Then, after the reshuffle, UNLIKE Boston Rob, who stubbornly refused to make the necessary adjustments, Vecepia found a way to prolong her time in the game until the pivotal premature celebration that you mention, PorkStoreKiller.  So maybe she did get lucky, but she at least partially EARNED that luck.  The same is true of Sandra Diaz-Twine (both 1.0 and 2.0).

  • Kos

    I was a bit annoyed by Vee’s lack of self-awareness. Other than her and Cirie both being African-American women, they appear to have absolutely nothing in common, yet Vee was confused as to why Cirie had been invited back while she had not. Does Vee really consider herself to be as entertaining, as savvy, or as good of a storyteller as Cirie?

    People like to hide behind the “editors can do whatever they want” statement, but there’s one thing the editors will never leave on the cutting room floor, and that’s entertainment. If you were shown being boring on the show, it’s probably because you are boring in real life. I don’t mean to knock Vee, but comparing herself to Cirie, one of the most genuinely entertaining people in Survivor history, was completely absurd.

    • PorkStoreKiller

      I agree.  It’s sad that people like Vee so identify themselves by their race and use it as a crutch anytime things don’t work out as they’d like.  She can’t talk about why she has only played once without bringing up racial norms and stereotypes as the reasons people are/aren’t asked back.  It has to do with her having virtually no control over the narrative of the game through the first 3/4s of the show and basically getting handed a win at the end.  The lack of satisfaction experienced by fans after her win had nothing to do with the color of her skin but has everything to do with why she’s not played a second time.  

      • Troll Hunter

        Aren’t you the same guy who kept insisting that Colton wasn’t racist?  You got a chip on your shoulder whenever someone talks about race.

        • PorkStoreKiller

          No, but I am the person who says the word “ghetto” isn’t monopolized by any race.  

          • damnbueno

            Except in Colton’s case of course.  To him, “Ghetto” refers to a black person.

  • Anyone know where I can watch the 7 Up Survivor Originals commercials? I haven’t watched the past few episodes live, so I haven’t been able to catch them.

  • I’m really liking these Survivor 7 Up original commercials, I can’t wait to hear Coach’s commercial.

    “Whether I’m holding a prayer circle for a hidden immunity idol, or performing Coach-chi on a giant sand dune in Brazil, nothing is as refreshing as 7 Up – unbreakable, unbending, unyielding, immeasurable, immovable, invincible.”

  • lol @ Rob trying to not make Vecepia feel stupid when she was talking about merging at 12 yet for the last 5 seasons excluding Heroes vs Villains we’ve had a merge at 12

  • wolfstephen

    Colton makes Russell seem like an angel. Not in terms of gameplay, but in his mannerisms to other players, at the time of Season 19, Russell burning socks and emptying canteens seems like the lowest act in survivor…Colton is just the most spoilt unkind person to play the game. Russell has proven to be a genuine nice guy outside of the game, taking photos and chatting with fans etc. I can’t see Colton doing that anytime soon…The worst thing about Colton is, he’s guaranteed to return to an all-stars season..I hate to say it, but I think I have found a player I’d hate to see return for another season more than Russell and Boston Rob

  • Tyler Kakuno

    Rob and Nicole, I love your guests this season! You should try to get more losers though like….. DEB EATEN! Hook her up with her brother in law while ur at it 😉

  • Wow… Vicepia will namedrop the people from her town, but can’t get their names right.


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